By Councilmember-elect Donovan Richards (Contact)
To be delivered to: HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan
Hurricane Sandy exacerbated NYC’s affordable housing shortage. Before the storm, 48,000 people, including 20,000 children, were already sleeping in City shelters and thousands more were made homeless by the storm.
Nearly 4 months after the disaster, more than 2,000 displaced families are still living in temporary hotels, SROs, and shelters paid for by FEMA and the City of New York. Thousands more remain in their affected communities, living in dangerous conditions or double-up with family and friends. The majority of these families were struggling to survive on low-incomes even before the storm. New York City established a “housing portal” to help Sandy victims find permanent housing, but three-quarters of applicants did not qualify, because their incomes were too low.
After Hurricane Katrina, the federal government established the Disaster Housing Assistance Program, which provided affordable housing vouchers for low-income people made homeless by the storm. They were originally issued as temporary rental vouchers, and later converted to permanent Section 8 rental housing choice vouchers. New York City and other communities that were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy need similar support -- vouchers to get people out of shelters immediately and into permanent housing. These "DHAP" vouchers were authorized by the federal recovery bill (H.R. 152), but HUD and FEMA have yet to issue them.
As Secretary of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, we call on Shaun Donovan to immediately issue affordable housing vouchers for Hurricane Sandy victims.
Note: MoveOn Civic Action does not necessarily endorse the contents of petitions posted on this site. MoveOn Petitions is an open tool that anyone can use to post a petition advocating any point of view, so long as the petition does not violate our terms of service.